Kootenai | Kootenai Health | Issue 1, 2024

By Kim Anderson It’s 10 P.M., and you get the phone call. The number says it’s the Kootenai County sheriff. Your son’s been in a car accident, and he’s being taken by ambulance to Kootenai Health. Or maybe it’s your spouse who seems to be having a stroke—or a heart attack. Thankfully, the worst day of your life is taken in stride at the Kootenai Health emergency department (ED). Its dedicated team is ready to give the best care available in all these situations and more. Kootenai Health has one of the busiest EDs in the state, caring for over 55,000 patients annually. It is also the regional referral center for the other hospitals in Idaho’s 10 northern counties. About 12 percent of Kootenai’s injured patients come from outside Kootenai County. Care that keeps getting better For several years now, Kootenai Health has been working to expand and enhance the care available through its ED. In 2014, it earned verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as a Level III trauma center, and in 2016, it earned Level II designation from the Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency System. In 2018, Kootenai Health completed an expansion of its ED to 37 patient rooms, four trauma bays, and dedicated space to triage patients or have them wait for test results. In 2021, a new team, led by Trauma Medical Director Cory Richardson, M.D., began working to move Kootenai Health’s trauma center toward a Level II ACS verification. In January 2024, the team received its Level II ACS trauma center verification, just the second one to be granted in the state. “Becoming an ACSverified Level II trauma center has been the culmination of countless hours of work by an enormous number of people,” Dr. Richardson said. “Trauma is a unique field in that it transcends all specialties and service lines in a hospital. It is not uncommon for one single trauma patient to require the attention of physicians from more than a dozen different specialties.” Nearly 20 highly trained staff members respond to every trauma patient who comes to Kootenai Health’s ED. The trauma team has more than 20 trauma surgeons and advanced practice providers, as well as specialists from the many different disciplines needed in a Level II trauma center. Ready when you need us When a trauma patient arrives at the ED, the trauma team is ready at a moment’s notice to provide the highest level of care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This level of preparedness requires dedication and continual Cory Richardson, M.D., FACS, FASMBS, FAFS Dershi Bussey, RN, BSN Amanda Pringle, RN, BSN, CCRN, TCRN Learn more online Visit KH.org/emergency/ trauma-services. A STEP UP in Trauma Care Level II Trauma Designation 16